Today is a day tinged with considerable sadness as two members of our community, Grace Paynter and Val Fry, much loved sisters in the Lord died within an hour of one another on Wednesday. While there is a great deal to be thankful for in their lives we miss them. At the time of writing I have no information regarding their funerals but will make this known as soon as I can. I may be asking for assistance in hospitality here at St Nick’s . Let me know if you can help.
Churches that are alive to God are living communities. We are adopted together through faith in Jesus into our Heavenly Father’s family and become brothers and sisters. We are learning to love one another, to forgive one another, to do conflict well, to serve one another and together to share the mission of Jesus to make known the Good News. Simply put it’s this: God loves us and is longing for us to come home to Him. The way? Trusting in Jesus who makes it possible through His life, death and resurrection. That’s the message we can live and share made possible with His Holy Spirit working in and through us. Do we know it and believe it? Are we placing the weight of our lives on this glorious truth?
We have one mortal life and one death as Christians. As I accompany my brothers and sisters to their deaths the importance of sharing the gospel grows ever stronger within me. Both Val and Grace knew they were loved by God and loved by many of you. They are both fine now and I along with many of you look forward to seeing them again. As St Paul put it ‘to live is Christ to die is gain.’ Philippians 1:21. But we miss them.
Be sensitive to one another. Pray for the families and close friends who are grieving that it may be a good grief. If you did not pick up my letter to the church last week on service structures please do so today. I did not anticipate how relevant some of what I wrote would be to this past week.